Governor says no to pumping of restricted wells
Hickenlooper's decision follows a disaster declaration by the Weld County Commission last week. Commissioners asked Hickenlooper to allow farmers to pump water from the wells for a month because of a water shortage.
Commissioners were disappointed in the governor's decision, though they appreciated his attention to the matter, Commissioner Sean Conway said.
The commission called on the governor to take action after working for months to persuade senior water-rights holders to sell their water to Weld farmers, Conway said.
"We're sitting here and watching people's livelihood slip away," he said. "I don't think anybody disputes that this is a very serious situation that has consequences that I'm not sure we all will fully understand or comprehend until later this summer."
"What we're trying to do is avert a disaster," he added.
Hickenlooper based his decision on a five-page opinion written by Deputy Attorney General Casey Shpall stating that those downstream own the rights to the South Platte River
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Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village,